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Letters from the Front

( Played on PC.)

In 2006 on some machine running Windows Vista, a big man in a green suit promised us that we were going to finish the fight. Then, 13 years passed by, and we never found out what happened unless we were on the Xbox 360 ( which I was.) and now we can conclude the fight on PC. Now, with Halo 3’s arrival via Halo: The Master Chief Collection, the circle is complete and I get to revisit one of my childhood games on PC. The Chief certainly looks good for his age and the closing chapter of the OG trilogy is just as good as I remember it back in that sunny September weekend in 2007.

Besides a bump in the resolution, Halo 3 on PC hasn’t been touched and that’s a good thing. Halo 3 looks remarkably good for a game that released in 2007 and it holds up surprisingly well but certain things betray the 2007 release like texture quality and the character models looking really rough. However, the skyboxes are gorgeous: highways sprawl across African deserts and abandoned towns, temples jut out of the desert as futuristic spaceships battle it out in the skies above. Long before Destiny was a thing, Bungie was the king of skyboxes and vistas.

Halo 3 is a shooter first and it’s damn good at it. Halo 3 is the Bungie sandbox at its finest. Every level and stage is a playground filled with enemies and equipment laying around, Sierra 117 gives way to a huge sandbox and Tsavo Highway is a huge playground only accessible via a Warthog and pretty soon the Flood enters the mix by bringing dead UNSC and Covenant back to life in the Storm. The sandbox reaches its peak whenever the Scarab enters the fight and Bungie knows these huge spider-like vehicles are the best bits of the game, which is why Bungie gives you four times to fight these huge vehicles. Halo 3 isn’t a shooter unlike anything I’ve seen on PC, everything has a purpose and has a use in the grand scheme of things. If the campaign is legendary, how about its multiplayer? Does it stand the test of time?

Yes, it does. Halo 3 multiplayer, much like the campaign, is a unique piece of online gaming and there’s nothing quite like the Halo 3 multiplayer suite. There has been nothing quite like it in 13 years and that remains true now in the present day, it’s a spirit that has never faded with time. It’s still as legendary as I remember it back in those fall evenings in 2007. The Halo 3 multiplayer suite is my favorite version of the Halo multiplayer, it’s the perfect version of what is undeniably Halo unlike the later games that felt bloated. The right amount of weapons on the best of maps that stick out like a sore thumb in my mind, without load outs and streamlined features that cropped up in the 343 games. It’s great.

However, not all of is a pleasant ride through nostalgia city. The Master Chief Collection continues to be a problem, for the most part and its harder to not ignore with each new release within the collection. The Halo 3 port is good enough in itself, I love the port of this legendary game, but there’s issues that needs to be fixed; for example, I had some few audio issues and a few crashes here in there and most of the problems is really philosophical as many of the things seen in Halo 3 is done through playlists which works great in multiplayer but it robs the identity of the campaign through numerous loading screens that are over-designed and it robs the flow and pacing of the original story that was released all those years ago. However, all of those are nitpicks that I hope can be changed through numerous patches. In the end, it’s Halo 3 and there’s nothing quite like Halo 3. A legendary game of the 360 era finally making its way to the PC, a historic feat indeed.

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